The Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park, Japan
In the book by Bernard Leach, Hamada Shoji noticed that the quality of light from a Japanese rice paper window was quite different from that of a glass window in England. Diffused light in the room with Japanese paper window simplified the interior with serenity. That was contrasting with a room with glass window as it allowed light in and brought the ever changing outdoor scenery as a painting in the room. The aesthetic choice of diffused indoor light interests me and make me look deeper into the culture of Japan especially that of a tea house and the philosophy of tea ceremony.
The lotus pond in the Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park is my favorite place for morning walk. The withered dried seed cups from last year were beautifully standing in the pond with fresh young leaves swaying below with the wind when I came in June. Seeds dropped last year became new plant out of mud, the cycle of life. Lotus flower being unstained from the mud always represents our traditional virtue.
Being a city dweller, sound in Shigaraki is relatively pure and simple. The purity enables me to listen.
The first blue print workshop brings artists, visitors of the park, staffs and their families together and they enjoy a beautiful afternoon in summer day. Exploring possibilities from the unknown and sharing experiences are memorable moments. The blue print of each participant is responded with the Shigaraki Translucent Clay and its light.
Families from Fukushima and North Kanto region spent their summer in beautiful Shigaraki mountains. The second blue print workshop was specially arranged for them with children and volunteers in Shigaraki, about 70 persons altogether. The blue print activity and picnic under the trees filled the Park with children’s laughter.
I am grateful for the full support and coordination of the Institution of Ceramics Studies of The Shigaraki Ceramics Cultural Park. The sincerely help from all the studio artists and their active participation are crucial for the success of the projects. Last but not the least, the magic of blue print brings us closer.